Passports And Visas: A Straight-Forward And Short Review

by erin on June 11, 2010

People who are thinking about traveling abroad are frequently confronted with a problem. What’s the difference between a visa and a passport? This is a serious issue, as passports and visas cannot be used interchangeably. For instance, visa renewals are much more difficult to acquire than a passports renewal. It’s important to understand so you’ll know precisely what to do and what type of paperwork to obtain when going abroad.


A visa is a physical stamp or a sticker that gets placed in your passport upon arrival to a country. This mark is placed in your passport by a representative official of the country your traveling to, and it simply means that a the holder of the passport is authorized to visit that country. These are generally shown upon entrance to a foreign country, and many countries actually require you to get a visa in order to enter the country.

Unfortunately, there is no standard set of rules or regulations that deals with visas. Some countries require visas and others don’t, and this is always changing. One week you may need a visa, the next week you might not. Visas very in cost depending on the country, and because countries know they can charge whatever they want, they often charge exorbitant amounts.

There are various types of visa. They differ according to the type of visit you are doing. There are three main categories. First the business trip. Next are tourist trips and the final is transitory trips. There are some other types of visas that relate to international travel, but the three mentioned cover most travel.


A passport is a legal document verifying an individual’s identity and nationality. Passports are necessary to enter and exit a country. They can be acquired in your native country from passport agencies by submitting a U S passport application.

Specifically, a passport doesn’t grant entry into a country. Rather, it guarantees protection and the ability to gain entrance back into the country that issued the passport when traveling abroad. This detail probably won’t affect your travel any, but keeping it mind is important. These passports are indispensable travel tools, as they are the only form of identification accepted universally.

Passports are valid for ten years if you’re more than sixteen years old, and a mere five years if you’re less than sixteen, whilst the time for a visa differs much. Visas may be valid for ten years or less. As soon as a visa’s expired, the holder must obtain a new one if they desire to once again enter the nation. The same is true for passports. As soon as your passport’s expired, you must get a new one prior to being able to visit other countries again.

Traveling overseas can be so exciting. Some of my best memories come from trips to foreign countries, so don’t let the preparation scare you away. Easy pasport applications are online, so you can get an expedited U.S. passport renewal right from home. Often, a travel agent can arrange all of this for you, requiring little to no effort on your part, so you can focus on packing and getting ready for an awesome vacation.

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